Style Watch

Empty nesters seek a fresh start with their living room makeover

Softly rounded silhouettes open up a small living room in a South End triplex.

Sabrina Cole Quinn

Like many empty nesters, the owners of this South End triplex were ready to start fresh. In another sense, though, they were revisiting the past. “I met them years ago when they first bought in the South End, and later worked on their home in Dover,” says designer Dena Hamilburg. The couple recently re-relocated and asked Hamilburg for a whole new look. “They loved and lived with French country and traditional design for many years,” she says. “This time they wanted clean lines.” Hamilburg made the most of the small-scale living room, which has a new built-in window seat that overlooks the street. “They are so excited to be back in the South End,” she says. “This helps them embrace the neighborhood.”

1 Glass-topped polished stainless steel side tables designed by Dakota Jackson are sleek and timeless. Hamilburg says, “They can be moved where needed and keep the room open.”


2 A seascape by Vermont-based artist Craig Mooney, from Jules Place gallery in Boston, hangs over the original marble mantel, reinforcing the soothing ambience.

3 The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Harbor Gray lightened 50 percent with white paint. “It’s a soft, warm gray that changes with the light,” says Hamilburg.

4 On the window seat, custom pillows in watery blues add subtle color.

5 A chunky sofa facing the fireplace would have impeded the room’s flow. The curved sofa and club chairs by Ferrell Mittman, which were the jumping-off point for the design, keep the space airy. “Plus, the arrangement is very congenial,” Hamilburg says.

6 The faux-leather oval ottoman with satin metal feet, which can be used as a coffee table or footrest, adds even more curves.

7 The wool rug is consistent with the monochromatic palette and adds plenty of texture. “It’s almost like a nice Irish sweater,” Hamilburg says.


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